Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Brigadier General Arthur Lowry-Cole CB, DSO

Brigadier General Arthur Lowry-Cole CB, DSO died of wounds.
On this day Brigadier General Lowry-Cole died of wounds commanding the 25th Infantry Brigade, 8th Infantry Division, at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, France. He is buried at Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Fleurbaix Pas de Calais France Plot - E. 22. Arthur Lowry-Cole was the most senior Royal Welch Fusilier officer to die as a result of combat in the First World War.
His full service history can be seen below:
Cole, Arthur Willoughby George Lowry Major and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, was born 29 November 1860, eldest son of Colonel A L Cole.
He became a Second Lieutenant, 23rd Foot, 11 August 1880, and Lieutenant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 1 July 1881. He served with the Burmese Expedition, 1885-87 (Despatches [London Gazette, 2 September 1887] Medal with clasp). He became Captain 22 January 1890, and was Adjutant, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 23 April 1894 to 30 January 1898.
Captain Cole served in West Africa, 1897-98 (Borgu Medal with clasp). From 31 January 1898 to 15 February 1901, he was employed with the West African Frontier Force; was promoted Major 11 January 1899. He served in West Africa (Northern Nigeria), 1900 (severely wounded); Munshi Expedition (in command), and Kaduna Expedition (Despatches [London Gazette, 16 April, 1901]; Brevet Lieutenant Colonel 29 November 1902; clasp). Again in West Africa (Northern Nigeria), 1900, with the Expedition against Chief of Tawari; in command (Despatches [London Gazette, 18 April, 1902]; Medal with clasp).
He served in the South African War, 1901-2; commanded Depot Battalion, Green Point; in command of 17th Mounted Infantry Mixed Column; afterwards Commandant, Vryburg Sub-District (Despatches [London Gazette, 29 July 1902]; Queen's Medal with five clasps). He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 31 October 1902]: "Arthur Willoughby George Lowry Cole, Major and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel, The Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In recognition of services during the operations in South Africa".
From 12 July to 6 November 1903, he held a temporary appointment as AAG in India, and was promoted Lieutenant Colonel 24 September 1904. He was again employed with the West African Frontier Force from 24 September 1904, to 24 September 1907; was given the Brevet of Colonel 27 October 1905; was in command of the Sokoto Expedition in 1906, for which he was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 2 July 1907], and was created a CB, 1907 (Medal and clasp). He was made Colonel 25 September 1907, and on 29 October 1907, became AAG, GSO1, Peshawar Division, India. In 1912 he was appointed to the charge of Administration, Northern Command. He served in the European War, and died of wounds received in action in May 1915. Brigadier General A W G L Cole married, in 1908, Marion Gertrude, widow of Lieutenant Colonel C H Thorold. (Cited from:…/colonel-arthur-willoughby-geor…/)
The Rifle Brigade History of WW1 says the following of his wounding:- "The remaining troops of the 25th Brigade were herded together in the front line and assembly sap in an advanced state of disorganisation; and were so found by the Brigadier when he arrived at 6.20am - forty minutes after the attack began. In these circumstances he ordered up his Brigade reserve (two companies of the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment) and dispatched them in support of the 13th London Regiment with orders to bomb towards the 2nd Rifle Brigade (the only battalion to make any inroads) and join up with them. Almost immediately afterwards a further stroke of misfortune befell the attackers. In some mysterious manner, which has never been explained, an order to retire was circulated among the troops out in front (8th Division's account of the operation). It does not seem to have reached the 2nd RB, nor is there any record of it in their diaries, but from all directions men began retiring towards the original line. With conspicuous gallantry Brigadier General Lowry Cole sprang up on the parapet and succeeded in restoring order. The action cost him his life, for he was mortally wounded. This fatality put Colonel Stephens of the 2nd Rifle Brigade in command of the 25th Brigade. But Colonel Stephens was forward in the trenches captured by the 2nd Rifle Brigade, and it was some hours before he could be informed, and some hours later before he could leave his battalion in order to take over. (Cited from:…/colonel-arthur-willoughby-geor…/)

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